Anti-violence peace rally held in Newark following fatal shooting of imam
Religious leaders and activists joined forces to demand that the person or persons responsible for the killing of Imam Hassan Sharif come forward.
An anti-violence peace rally was held Wednesday night on South Orange Avenue and Camden Street, the intersection where Masjid Muhammad Mosque is located. Sharif had been at the helm for the last five years. It was also where the imam was found shot multiple times in his car.
Azziz Crawford lives in the community and was shocked to hear of the religious leader’s killing .
“To hear about this situation is preposterous,” Crawford says.
According to law enforcement just after 6 a.m., Newark police responded to a call on the 200 block of South Orange Avenue. EMS also responded and rushed the imam down the street to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:21 p.m.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is leading the investigation into who shot the mosque leader.
A motive for the shooting was not clear, acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens Jr. said.
“It does not appear that the Imam was a victim of a bias crime or that this was related to terrorism,” said Stephens.
It was not clear if the imam had ever been attacked before. Law enforcement officials say they have increased security at the mosque.
There is a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.